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Step 44 - How Do You See Yourself?
photo by http://www.wdkproductions.com/ I wonder what kind of picture of yourself do you have in your own mind? I’m not asking about the one you present to the world, but about the real ...

Walk with me, Part 4 – Nolita
Nolita is right next to Soho and I was thinking of putting these two walks together – and you could do that of course – but there are just too many things to explore in each neighborhood s...

Step 43: Have the Courage to Stand Alone
Photo by wdkproductions.com I heard this sentence: “Have the courage to stand alone”, spoken by Brene Brown in a conversation with Marie Forleo a few weeks ago, and it keeps ringing in ...

Walk with Me, Part 3 – Soho
  Soho is one of my favorite places in NY. And it’s not because of the fancy stores (I don’t have the desire to buy a Chanel bag, I want someone to give me that bag for free.) It's...

Step 42 – How do we not go crazy?
It’s very easy to go crazy in NY. It’s way too easy. That’s why at some point, you have to slow down and ask yourself how your mind is doing. There are a few different ways I ...

Step 41 – Close the Open Tabs
I recently noticed that everyone, including myself, says, “OMG, this month passed by so fast! Where did the time go?” And I feel that every year we say it more often. Have you noticed th...

The Bridges of Madison County - A Cautionary Tale
I’ve been coming back to old movies recently and watched one of my favorite movies of all time – “The Bridges of Madison County” with my favorite actress, Meryl Str...

Brooklyn vs. Manhattan
It’s funny how Manhattan and Brooklyn are different, even though they are only a river away. They are actually just one subway stop away (which is a few minutes’ distance). A lot of peop...

Women’s Surf Film Festival
I finally attended Women’s Surf Film Festival that took place at Rockaway Beach Surf Club on the last Friday and Saturday of July. I didn’t see all the movies (they’re mostly short...

Birthday
35 years ago, a miracle happened and I came into this world. And everything changed. I’m kidding. Nothing changed, except for the fact that the world got a bit confused. When I was a little ...

Yelp & Health
If you are running a restaurant business in NYC, you always fear of two things: Health Department and Yelp reviews. Health Department comes to a restaurant once a year and checks everything &ndash...

Racism Is Still Alive
I just had a chance to watch a new movie called “Crown Heights” and I must say it was a really painful screening for me. Had I watched it back in Poland, I would probably look at it as j...

The Metropolis of New York

added: 2013-07-23 , category: Discover NY

It’s hard to convey the enormity of New York to someone who has never been here. Some people think that NY is Manhattan only – the Manhattan of Fifth Avenue only, populated with the heroines of “Sex & the City”. There’s nothing further from the truth: Manhattan is only one of New York City’s five boroughs. The remaining four are: Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island. 

Just to make you aware of how big a metropolis are we talking about: Brooklyn’s official population (as opposed to the unknown real one that would include all the illegal immigrants) is 2,5 million people, which makes it more populous than Paris or Warsaw. There’s a similar number of people in Queens. Manhattan and the Bronx have 1,5 million people combined, with another half a million in Staten Island. Despite those huge numbers, moving around between boroughs and people is not a problem at all, since the whole of New York is woven together by the Subway, which makes life so much easier (the only place the Subway doesn’t reach is Staten Island, which can be arrived at by a ferry). 

As you are filling out the documents regarding your stay in New York City, most of us automatically puts “New York” in the “city” box, while in fact that is only true if you are staying in Manhattan (most people would love that, but reality can be harsher than that). 

Specific boroughs are very diverse in themselves, so it’s difficult to analyze them as monoliths. Manhattan is an island populated by the richest of people, but the belief that you need to make millions in order to live here is a myth. Brooklyn and Queens both have their nooks and crannies – some more pleasant than others. It’s not enough to proudly announce that you’re living “in Brooklyn” (which has become the “new Manhattan” recently) – you have to “confess” which exact part of Brooklyn do you mean. For example, if you live at the very southern tip of it, near Coney Isand, it means you have to commute for over an hour to Manhattan. If you work in Uptown Manhattan, that adds almost another hour that you will need to cross it. Long story short, your commute is almost two hours. Nothing to brag about. 

The key question you’ll hear about the place you stay is: how far is it from Manhattan? It’s the distance that separates you from it that makes your current location attractive or not. 

Brooklynites will say it’s uncool to live in Queens. Those in Queens will say it’s absurd to live in Manhattan, since it’s “noisy and expensive”; those in Manhattan cannot get how can you live in any other borough (and they often haven’t even travelled to any of them), while those in Staten Island will praise their home borough for being “peaceful and quiet”. All of them will agree, though, that there’s no point in living in New Jersey. 

The truth is everyone wants to live as close to Manhattan as possible. It’s there that all the movies you can think of take place. But the closer to Manhattan, the more insane the rent. It’s up to you and your wallet to decide whether you’re ready to pay $1,500 or $15,000 a month.



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